Dark Houses & Dangerous Dogs – Rediscovering ‘After Midnight’ (US 1989 – 90 mins)

Rediscover ‐ March 30, 2016

A watchable horror compendium that actually contains decent segments within a fairly strong wrap-around story, ‘After Midnight’ was much better than I expected. Coupled with a creepy atmosphere and a cast that took it mostly seriously, it’s a fun addition to the long tradition of anthology horror.

When eccentric psychology tutor Edward Derek (Ramy Zada) humiliates one of his students during class, the vengeful jock seeks revenge one stormy night while Derek and some of his students are telling each other tales on the subject of “fear”.

The three tales told are actually pretty good, with no really weak story among …

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The Odd Couple – Rediscovering ‘Mrs. O’Malley and Mr. Malone’ (US 1950 – 69 mins)

Rediscover ‐ March 24, 2016

A delightful and obscure little movie; ‘Mrs. O’Malley and Mr. Malone’ is another of those ‘murder-on-a-train’ mysteries that proved very popular with post-war audiences looking for some easy-going escapism.

When Steve Kepplar (Douglas Fowley), a runaway client of lecherous lawyer J.J Malone (James Whitmore) is murdered on a crowded Chicago-bound train, Malone soon finds himself the chief suspect. After pairing up with sharp-tongued widow Mrs O’Malley (Marjorie Main), this newly-bonded odd couple frantically search the corridors and carriages for the killer, before the law can unfairly nail Malone for the crime.

Based on the short story “Once Upon a Train (The Loco …

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Brides of Satan – Rediscovering ‘Don’t Deliver Us from Evil’ (France 1971 – 110 mins)

Rediscover ‐ March 15, 2016
Brides of Satan – Rediscovering ‘Don’t Deliver Us from Evil’ (France 1971 – 110 mins)

Loosely based on the same 1954 murder that later inspired Peter Jackson’s 1994 masterpiece ‘Heavenly Creatures’, the controversial yet intelligent French melodrama ‘Don’t Deliver Us from Evil’ is a shocking (though not too explicit) movie which was immediately banned in its native France, but has slowly gained a following in the last few years.

While boarding at a strict convent school, mischievous best friends Anne and Lore (Jeanne Goupil & Catherine Wagener) decide to pledge themselves to Satan after reading some forbidden books from under their bed covers. During a summer spent playing dangerous games and seducing village elders, things take …

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Carnival of Souls – Rediscovering ‘7 Faces of Dr. Lao’ (US 1964 – 100 mins)

Rediscover ‐ March 03, 2016

Although I have never been a big fan of fantasy movies, I’ve always enjoyed the colourful drama ‘7 Faces of Dr Lao’, which is at times a dark but mostly charming tale of how a troubled community learns some valuable life lessons from an unlikely source.

At the same time that the residents of a small western town are voting on whether to sell their homes to a corrupt investor (Arthur O’Connell), elderly Chinaman Dr. Lao (Tony Randall) suddenly arrives in town with his mysterious circus. Through various mythical character changes, the impressionable Dr. Lao is soon spreading his wisdom, while …

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The Wild One – Remembering Susan Tyrrell (1945 – 2012)

Rediscover ‐ February 27, 2016

Appearing in many cult movies in a long and fascinating career, the unique Susan Tyrrell was a genuine one-off. A chameleon-like performer who could play both attractive flirts and grubby grotesques, she revelled in being an outcast. And in doing so, she created an array of memorable (and sometimes funny) colourful characters, often with a devilishly dangerous streak.

Born Susan Jillian Creamer, in California on March 18th 1945, Tyrrell came from an entertainment background, with her father a powerful agent at the time. She spent the Sixties in regional theatre before being noticed by Hollywood’s elite. Her first role of note, …

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Mirror Mirror – Rediscovering ‘The Man in the Back Seat’ (UK 1961 – 57 mins)

Rediscover ‐ February 18, 2016

A nifty London-based B-movie with a surprising twist, the genre-changing ‘The Man in the Back Seat’ is one of those late night relics that takes you by surprise and, at just under an hour in length, wastes no time with its set-up and execution.

After robbing a racetrack of its takings, bickering thieves Tony and Frank (Derren Nesbitt and Keith Faulkner) find themselves lumbered with the unconscious body of the bookie (Harry Locke), who’s still chained to the briefcase they’ve just stolen. After some tricky obstacles and finally freeing themselves of the bookie’s body, the pair suddenly have a spine-chilling encounter, …

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A Cold Night’s Death – Rediscovering ‘Penny Dreadful’ (US 2006 – 92 mins)

Rediscover ‐ February 12, 2016

A modern horror that’s rightly gained a minor following, the engrossing nail biter ‘Penny Dreadful’ is one of those little movies you stumble across by accident, but leaves you wanting more. A film that has the possibility to become a cult, it’s got an air of unease running throughout, and features a terrific performance by its lead actress.

Recovering from a childhood trauma, Penny (Rachel Miner) embarks on a road trip with her therapist Orianna (Mimi Rogers) to help conquer her fear of cars. Not long into their journey they accidentally knock down a mysterious figure standing in the middle of …

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Brave New World – Rediscovering ‘When Worlds Collide’ (US 1951 – 83 mins)

Rediscover ‐ February 06, 2016

A very good cult fantasy with no major stars, the colourful apocalyptic drama ‘When Worlds Collide’ is an exciting sci-fi picture, notable for being one of the few movies in which the world is ultimately destroyed rather than saved.

After studying astronomical charts, scientist Dr. Cole Hendron (Larry Keating) learns that there are two planets hurtling towards earth, risking its total destruction. When his findings are dismissed by the UN, Hendron creates a space-like Ark, funded by egotistical millionaire Sydney Stanton (John Hoyt) that will take a team of chosen individuals to the newly discovered planet of Zyra.

While the main …

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Panic in Needle Park – Rediscovering ‘Hanna D. – La Ragazza del Vondel Park’ (France/Italy 1984 – 83 mins)

Rediscover ‐ February 02, 2016

Though not as stylish or well made as the earlier German feature ‘Christiane F’ (’81), the low-budget and provocative ‘Hanna D: The Girl from Vondel Park’ took that film’s grim premise to an even darker place, leaving it a memorable piece of sexploitation with a few good intentions here and there.

Innocent 16 year old Hanna (Ann-Gisel Glass) is supporting both her and her boozy mother (Karin Schubert) by selling her body in and around Amsterdam’s vast Vondel Park. Scared away by the local prostitutes, Hanna is picked up by a local man (Fausto Lombardi) who talks her into being her …

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The Wrong Man – Rediscovering ‘Phantom Lady’ (US 1944 – 87 mins)

Rediscover ‐ January 25, 2016

A wonderfully dark and moody thriller, ‘Phantom Lady’ is rarely mentioned in the same sentence as other classic film-noirs. Yet, I think it’s one of the more accessible thrillers of the 1940’s, and one that holds your interest as we root for its appealing female lead to solve the central mystery.

Returning home from a date with a mysterious hat-wearing lady, Scott Henderson (Alan Curtis) is shocked to discover the dead body of his wife. Henderson is arrested for her murder, and in need of an alibi, can find nobody who can remember seeing him with the woman. After exhausting all …

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